I think I can agree with what you say. Node reps (just lately) seem to be quite high in proportion to "Normal" - maybe I'm getting better at writing stuff (I'd like to think so) or maybe it's simply a case of there being more people with votes.
Having said that, though - while it's nice to log in of a morning and get a whole bunch of XP (not that THAT happens much .. *g*) - it's not the primary reason I come here. I have to write Perl at work, and I'm relatively new to the language (I joined here in August - I'd never touched the language before that), and I find the site invaluable as both a reference source, somewhere to bounce ideas off and just to ask the little niggling (Perl) questions that I can't find the answer to anywhere else.
Whether the XP system existed or not, whether it was more "challenging" to get to higher levels or not, I think it's very important to remember that XP is not the be-all-and-end-all of the PerlMonks site.
On the other hand (perhaps a little OT), node reps are, to me at least, very useful in judging explanations, the usefulness of code examples given and such like. Whether this rep system would work as well without the XP system, or with a modified XP system, would be a small concern to me should any changes be made.
Just my quick thoughts ..
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